Memorial Beach Day

We’re not even done with the weekend but I had to post a few videos of the beach day yesterday.  Our kids are having so much more fun at the beach lately, which in turn makes it that much more fun for us too.  Asher finally will play in the waves (ok, ‘in the waves’ is even being generous…he’ll touch his toes in the water at least)…it only took him 4 years to warm up to it (who’s kid is this?!).  But no matter, at least we were diligent πŸ˜‚.  Here’s yesterday (he decided no pants was the way to go):
What a great view! πŸ˜‰

The remainder of the weekend was no less fun – BBQ & backyard s’mores with friends, then water park at Lake Casitas to finish it off!

I love summer!  And it’s just the beginning! (More to come soon – this was a start of an old post!)

Nite Moves

There’s a possibility that I can be ambitious on the sign-ups and weak on the execution for some of our family activities…you know, if I’m being honest.  I just picture us having this fun, athletic family who tackles anything.  Which sometimes we totally are; and other times it’s actually a disaster of complaining and prodding and nothing how it was in my head, and we all end up mad and disappointed (but with pictures that likely make my memory of how awful it is fade fairly fast).  Again, just honest.

However, we are signed up as a family for a 5K in a few weeks with my parents, so I have been thinking that we should get out there and try it before it is a mess of complaining and general disaster conditions πŸ˜‚.  Last week was a good practice opportunity – an event in Santa Barbara that seemed family friendly… and close to home in the event of the world ending (ie. our kids’ likely portrayal of the torture we make them endure called ‘exercise’).  

In addition to family, I also recruited unsuspecting work buddies, friends, and the girls we live with, and promptly handed the kids off to all of them while I jumped into the 1k swim to start off the night, vowing to catch them on the 5k run to follow.  

I have to say, the swim went better than I expected in my dinosaur of a wetsuit – and I loved the boost of proud energy I got from high-fiving Selah as she ran down the hill as I ran up. (The run started while I was racing, so I tried to catch them on the uphill, but she was too fast!).  Asher and Daddy made it to the turn around before I caught them, and Dad reported that he did at least 3/4 of the whole run on his own!  And we all ran through the finish line together – one proud, tired, happy family.  

I haven’t raced in a long time…actually, just about 8 years probably since it was at least a year prior to Selah being born.  I can’t say there’s any one reason I haven’t, but I can tell you that this group exercise program (Jenny Schatzle Program) that I’m doing motivated me to just get out and do it, no matter how messy it looked (in my head or in reality) or what the outcome was.  Exercise is my sanctuary and sanity – and this time I got to enjoy it with my favorites – and be reminded of a time gone by when I enjoyed swimming and running races too. And – bonus – it went so well I’d do it again!  (I can’t say the same for Selah, but Jesse and Asher seem to be game, so she might come around yet!).  

And Other Things to be Thankful for

There are a lot of random things I take a few pictures at, then never post or don’t have a full thought about them.  But in the spirit of my online ‘scrap-booking’….we are also extremely thankful for:

Good friends and swim meets:

Mok, best dog in the world:Santa Barbara sunsets and bike rides along the beach:

Family to help with new backyard construction projects!  And new knees for Jesse to be able to do so:

Mok somehow got out of order, but could list him twice we are so thankful for him!

And just plain old family time together laughing – lots of times with this guy, but always together:

Sounds trite, but no other way to put it – we are very blessed (& when I don’t remember that, I come back here to upload! πŸ˜‰).  When I have little time for friends or groceries or cleaning…this is what I’m doing!  Life with our little family.

Sundays & Trucks

Today I took Asher on a Mommy & son “date” to the PEP Touch-A-Truck event at City College.  It had a ton of trucks – garbage trucks, police cars, fire trucks, sweeper trucks, construction equipment, a trolley, a postage truck, a delivery truck, a dump truck, a helicopter, along with bounce houses, Popsicles, and face painting….and I’m certain many others I’m forgetting.

Cute trolley driver, yes?! It was fun to have ‘just one’ and reminded me that it’s so important to get that 1-on-1 time with both our kids.  They thrive so much more when we’re intentional with them, and sometimes we just aren’t good at thinking of things to do, so this worked out great to have a specific activity.  

Hopefully the back of the police car is exclusive to this experience only!
It’s heavy Mama!
I had hoped we could get by the face painting without a request, but Spiderman it was…and I was too tired of climbing in vehicles and honking horns to resist.

Afterwards, we met up with Daddy and Selah who were at a schoolmate’s party.  They were having their own good time with a zip line, bocce ball, tree house, and hammocks!  Lucky boy got the best of both worlds!  I wish I would have caught more pictures of Selah, but she’s on the run with friends these days, and not much interest in having mom around documenting πŸ˜‰.  

Fun Sunday all around, and just wish we had one more day before entering reality again.  Until next weekend!  β€οΈ

Pike’s Peak

Day 3 in Colorado definitely did not dissapoint!  Kelly got us tickets for the cog railway to the top of Pike’s Peak – the mountain overlooking Colorado Springs (& the peak we watched fireworks over earlier this year!  Although, much colder at that time of year!).  It could not have been a more perfect day – again, beautiful weather and great company made for the best of times.  And Hannah’s nieces and Aunt joined in, which was great fun for the kids!

Views on the way up were amazing – and anyone who knows Asher well will recognize his obsession with binoculars!  He kept on the lookout for wildlife and we did end seeing quite a few marmots, and spotted some long horn sheep in the distance.At the top we enjoyed the fresh homemade donuts and hot chocolate – except Selah (Miss Picky eater) who opted for Cheetos.  As we walked around, Selah even noticed she got winded easily, so it was a fun introduction to a bit of altitude for their first time.  

Another fun day for all.  We’re so thankful for the hospitality of these friends who we count as family.  

Castlewood Canyon Hike

It’s been a hectic few weeks, but I’m missing out on some great pictures & milestones so I needed to update for family!  Before school started (this week), I took the kids on a last minute trip to Colorado.  It was a spur of the moment thing – Jesse is recovering from knee surgery still so he isn’t up for travel, but I found incredibly cheap tickets online from LAX to Denver (less than $300 total for all of us!!!), so I just decided to jump on it.  Plus, it’s hard to pass up visiting the Jacobsen clan – they are a few of our favorite people in the entire world – in addition to about the easiest people for kids to stay with as well since both Selah and Asher love all of them to pieces!

Anyways, I took so many pictures I’ll have to split it up per each day there to fit it all in a reasonable post.  First day was hiking at Castlewoid Canyon after getting off the plane.  Asher loved it, Selah had to be coerced into having fun, and I love anything that combines outdoors, exercise, and good company!  

My little hippie boy stripped down with Hannah to go skinny dipping as soon as he realized there was water while playing ‘trolls’ under the bridge:

Not a bad setting, right?!
Luckily Mr. Nels (Hannah’s dad) must have had special training in making hiking fun for kids, so he took Selah’s stinky attitude as a challenge and transformed it into an adventure, thank goodness!

It was a great time exploring – perfect day, perfect activity, and perfect people!  We only were missing Ms. Kelly (Hannah’s mom) and of course, Daddy (who we would have loved to be with this trip, but is recovering so he can do the next one!).

4th of July Celebrations

I’m going to work backwards from here, going back to key events since I left off blogging a few months back, in hopes of filling in holes for my ‘scrapbook’ of memories for the kids, along with faraway family.

First up – 4th of July weekend, block party & parade! 

I love our neighbors and neighborhood.  There are tons of kids and families, a good mix of a slightly older generation (which I love for our kiddos), and it’s what I would consider safe.  For the holiday, one of my motivated neighbors took it upon herself to organize a big shindig at the park between the two circles of houses.  This was no ordinary block party either – it was complete with a taco truck, fresh horchata, bounce house, DJ, limbo, and bike parade.  So fun for the kids – and us!  

Good times in Montecito.  If my kiddos only knew how blessed they are!   (We are working on conversations about privilege…but sometimes the concepts come slow & I try a number of ways to get the point across before one just ‘sticks’).  

Next up, 4th of July parade!  

Jesse’s knee has been really bugging him lately (seems logical, 4 months without walking would do it to anyone – and he literally NEVER complains, so you know it’s actually hurting now!) – so I took the kids solo to the downtown Montecito celebration to represent Cold Spring School in the parade and friendly competition after between Selah’s school and Montecito Union.  

They were the sweetest, all decked out.  We made our way to our spot then waited a good hour riding around with friends and climbing trees before the parade started. I walked with a few other moms with a banner and the kids zoomed through the crowd in the street.  I even lost Asher in the surrounding neighborhood at the end of it – innocent mistake for his first ride and my horror of not being able to run as fast he rides that bike of his!  I took it as a good opportunity to remind him how to tell a fireman his mommy’s name and find the man with the microphone! πŸ˜†

And of course what 4th celebration is complete without terribly unhealthy, mediocre tasting sweets with artificial food dye and flavor?!?   Isn’t that the American way?! 

The kids had a great time, as did I – and although it was exhausting, it was 100% worth it to see those moments of sibling love and pure joy amidst my own personal moments of panic when losing one of them in the crowd (Selah is quite the social butterfly and since it was the school rivalry – the Montecito Cup – she was off enjoying friends while I tried to keep tabs on Asher and hoped she could find me when necessary!).

We also miraculously made it to fireworks with Daddy so he could share in the day, and set up our own cooling pool in the backyard to combat the heat.  Perfect day to celebrate America!

Just BeachyΒ 

I love when an unexpected warm weekend pops up in winter between all those cold, windy ones!  That day was today and we took advantage of our clear, fairly warm, winter beach day.

   We were able to meet Selah’s first nanny there with her 7 month old daughter, visiting from Kansas.  Liz will always hold a special place in our heart.  Some day we’ll venture to Kansas to visit her farm, but for today we were pretty content running around in the sand, collecting just the slightest sunburn from the winter sun low in the sky.
A few pics of the day I snapped with my little beauty.  Love this place we are blessed to live in, and love the little sweethearts I get to do life more than more.  If only I could bottle up her joy to save for a rainy day…


More Colorado Video

These belong on the first snow day, but I forgot to post links…
Selah’s first sledding run with Emeree:

Asher tells me about the snowmobile:

And Jesse had some pretty sweet pictures of the first day on his phone to add:

   The kids getting a special cockpit your from the pilot on the way there:
Snow angels!!

  For not being snow kids, they were pretty comfortable: 
This was within minutes of going outside – their first attempts at snow angels. 


And Selah (with direction from Hannah):

And a gorgeous sunset to end the day:

  Oh, and proof Jesse and I were there too – enjoying (yes, I mean it!) the cold!

Day 2

  Having your personal travel guides each day of our trip was pretty amazing – were lucky they didn’t give up on our tired kids and cranky adults…or is that tired adults and cranky kids?  Either way, day two was spent running around Colorado Springs which is pretty awesome too.

We took the kids and walked/drove a bit around Garden of the Gods – which was gorgeous.  An attempt to take a family picture with everyone looking in the same general direction with a relatively normal smile resulted in about two dozen ‘almost good’ pictures.  Here’s the best of the bunch:

(At least the scenery is nice!).  The kids had fun, and attempted to ‘sled’ in any little patch of snow we ran across (indicating the success experienced the first snow day!). 

 It was also our last day with Hannah, which for Selah was so bittersweet.  She’s been looking forward to that trip for months – not caring much about snow or Colorado – but pining to see her favorite friend.  Luckily they slipped in a sweet little ‘date’ with Magic Town (a sort of ‘seek & find’ art gallery/museum-ish place) and some Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory dessert.





 Just like every day there, couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day or people to spend it with.  I’ll sound like a broken record, but we’re so thankful and don’t take a single blessing for granted.   



 More snow coming up!